Dead rhododendron


Old 04-18-01, 06:33 PM
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This has been a really tough winter in southern NH for rhododendron. The top half of all the rhododendrons in this area are dead (brown curling leaves). At least I know it wasn't just me! But what do I do...prune them back now (how far?)? ...Wait to see if new leaves come in? Do I fertilize? My heart is broken, my 25 year old rhododendrons look awful!
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Old 04-21-01, 10:34 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Pruning rhododendron

Rhododendrons and other spring flowering ornamentals tend to be pruned after they bloom. Making sure they have deep watered and mulched for winter tends to go a long way toward protecting them through the cold, winter months when the ground is frozen and they can't get a drink. I would proceed with my regular care of plants with watering and feeding and bed clean up. Wait to see the extent of the damage. Following blooming, you can assess damage and prune if necessary. Rhododendrons tend to set their buds in the fall. You will soon be able to see which branches are going to produce greenery and which ones will have to be pruned.

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